In response to the 50th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall on August 13, the Wende Museum presented “Across the Wall” at the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk. The exhibition displays high-quality reproductions of sixteen portrait paintings from the former Soviet Union in the museum’s collection.
Join Consul General Hon. Wolfgang Drautz and Michael Cramer, Member of the European Parliament, for a conversation about what the Wall has come to mean for a younger generation of Germans and tourists of Berlin as well as the ways in which the Wall is still very much a part of Berlin's urban policies and LA's City landscape (referring to the Wende Museum's 10 Berlin Wall segments at 5900 Wilshire).
In collaboration with the Craft and Folk Art Museum, The Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War will present Deconstructing Perestroika, the first major exhibition in the United States of hand-painted Soviet-era political posters that were inspired by a new government policy of transparency in the former Soviet Union. Organized to mark the 20th anniversary of the former super power’s demise in December 1991, this exhibition highlights some of the key political and cultural shifts that defined the era and ultimately led to the fall of the Soviet Union.
Join Dr. Ljiljana Grubisic, Director of Collections & Public Programs, for an insider's look at The Wende Museum. Learn more about the museum's unique collection of Cold War artifacts including its selection of posters featured in Deconstructing Perestroika.
The Wende Museum's original Berlin Wall segments, on permanent display at 5900 Wilshire Blvd. (The Variety Building), were selected as one of 30 sites across the Southland for the city-wide installation project, Play Me, I'm Yours, organized in collaboration with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the British artist Luke Jerram.
My Perestroika tells the stories of five Moscow schoolmates from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Through candid first-person testimony, revealing verité footage, and vintage home movies, the film reveals a Russia rarely ever seen.
The Spring Salon presented Ask Me More about Brecht: Hanns Eisler in Conversation with Hans Bunge, a special performance, music and cultural history by Sabine Berendse and Paul Clements.
Please join Vitaly Komar as he comments extemporaneously on selected images from The Wende Museum’s collection of Perestroika-era hand painted poster artworks, a few of which are currently on view as part of The Wende’s “Deconstructing Perestroika” exhibition at the Craft and Folk Art Museum.
Join curator Ljiljana Grubisic, Director of Collections and Public Programs at The Wende Museum, for a fascinating look at this period in Russian history and the unique political artwork it generated.
Join author and illustrator Eugene Yelchin for a presentation about his new award-winning book Breaking Stalin’s Nose—the moving story of a boy’s transition from devotion to disillusionment with the Communist Party. Eugene will discuss his creative journey and the use of personal experience to create historical fiction. A book signing will follow the presentation. To find out more about the book, visit breakingstalinsnose.com.
The Craft and Folk Art Museum hosted a reading of poetry created in response to artworks exhibited in the Deconstructing Perestroika exhibition. The event is organized by Brendan Constantine, Los Angeles poet and author of Birthday Girl With Possum, and features poets Ilya Kaminsky, Cecilia Woloch, and Arash Saedinia.
COLD WAR: A PERFORMANCE PROJECT is being developed over three years by the Netherlands-based PeerGrouP and the Los Angeles Poverty Department.
While the Cold War in Eastern Europe is in a geographic and even historic sense a long way from here, its legacy is global and relevant. Then, as now, entrenched social, cultural, and political systems were subverted from below and within.
The unblinking eye over today’s conflict zones has its origins in the surveillance technology that emerged in the Cold War-era as a dutiful aid to intelligence operatives, those individuals who assimilated themselves into the culture of their enemy and passed along secrets. Western agencies were watching the east as under the watchful eye of the KGB, the USSR created a particularly sinister climate of fear and political oppression. Yet the KGB, which employed one agent per 583 Soviet citizens, was dwarfed in its efforts by the East German model in which one Stasi agent observed 166 individuals.
As a part of The Wende Museum’s SURVEILLANCE PROJECT, Behind the Berlin Wall brings together street artists from Los Angeles, London, and Berlin to interpret the role of surveillance in our lives from the Cold War until today. The murals by Retna, D*Face, and artist duo Herakut, cover nine segments belonging to the ‘east side’ of the original Berlin Wall – the side that faced the East German death strip and was never painted. In keeping with the Wall’s original function as an organic, ever-changing site for art happenings, these artists offer a commentary on the eroding space of the private individual operating in a public place that uses technology as an agent of social control.
British Consul-General Dame Barbara Hay and former U.S. Ambassador Rudolf V. Perina shared their stories about the joys as well as difficulties of life as expatriates and diplomats, their adjustments to the culture of Moscow, and their contacts with other diplomats, state officials, dissidents, journalists and average citizens. Moderated by UCLA History Professor J. Arch Getty, this conversation touched upon the challenges that foreign diplomats faced during the Cold War, the culture and institutional framework in which they had to operate and how they remained discrete, cheerful, flexible and smart as the politics and leadership kept changing at home, abroad and ‘in the office.’